The 4-acre site between Tanger I and II where 31,000 square feet of new manufacturer's outlet development is planned.

A plan to build a new 13-store outlet center on a parcel of undeveloped land in the middle of Tanger Outlets gained preliminary approval from the Riverhead Planning Board Thursday evening.

The application of William Dries and Anthony Specchio to construct 31,000 square feet of manufacturers’ outlet center retail space on the 4.2-acre Route 58 site received a special permit from the Town Board in August.

The owners first received a Town Board special permit for the outlet stores in 2004, but never developed the site and their permit expired. The permit approved last year was conditioned on site plan approval by the Planning Board and the required approvals of other involved agencies, including the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.

Residential subdivision of downtown site is aired at hearing

The five-lot residential subdivision of RH Hamptons on a 28,741-square-foot site between Union and Maple avenues in downtown Riverhead has a public hearing before the Planning Board Thursday night. Each lot conforms to the minimum area required by the DC-5 zoning district, which requires a 5,000-square-foot minimum lot size.

No members of the public offered any comment on the application.

Traffic impacts of fast-food restaurants on corner of Rt. 58 & Mill Road discussed

The board discussed the site plan application of the Long Island Cauliflower Association to build four restaurants on the northwest corner of Route 58 and Mill Road.

The proposed uses include a Chick Fil-A, a Dunkin’ Donuts and an as-yet unidentified 2,600-square-foot restaurant, all with drive-thru windows, and a 6,400-square-foot sit-down restaurant with no drive-thru.

Bergman said he wanted to review everything with board members a final time before moving the application forward. The board held a hearing on the site plan last April and the applicant has made changes to the plan requested by the county public works department and the Riverhead Water District.

Board members again raised concerns about the management of traffic into and out of the site from Route 58, where a right-turn-only entrance into the site from the westbound lane of Route 58 and a right-turn-only exit from the site onto westbound Route 58 are proposed.

Member Joseph Baier repeated his previously expressed sentiment that it should not be an entrance, but an exit only.

“It’s bad now. Another entrance there will make it worse,” Baier said. “It’s backed up now from Panera. It’s backed up constantly,” he said.

Member George Nunnaro said poor signal timing along Route 58 is partly to blame for the backed-up traffic.

“A whole series of restaurants there is going to attract a lot of traffic from 58,” Baier said.

Vice Chairperson Ed Densieski also brought up a concern he’s raised in the past concerning this site plan: buffering the residential community to the north of the site. He continued to advocate for an addition row or two of evergreens along the northern border, which adjoins the Millbrook Community at 433 Mill Road.

“People are living there. I just want it to be nice. I want people to happy there. I don’t want them having headlights going into their bedrooms from cars in the parking lot,” Densieski said.

Bergman told him that arborvitae planted on top of a retaining wall along the boundary line of the property there, combined with a chain-link fence with privacy slats will prevent that from happening.

At the end of the discussion, the four Planning Board members present — Chairperson Joann Waski was absent — assented to putting a resolution granting preliminary site plan approval on a future agenda for a vote.

Riverhead Ciderhouse site plan revision hearing rescheduled for April 6

The board scheduled a public hearing on the application of Riverhead Ciderhouse to legalize already-built expansions to its tasting room and outdoor patios and to construct 36 additional parking spaces.

A hearing on the proposed revised site plan is now scheduled for April 6 at 6 p.m. It was previously scheduled for Feb. 2 but the date had to be changed because the applicant did not submit proof of posting and mailing of the hearing notice, as required by town code.

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.